YAKIMA, Wash. — After nearly 60 years, the checkered flag is poised to fall for the Yakima Speedway.
Ted Pollock, the racetrack’s owner of 51 years, is in the process of selling the speedway and the Yakima Ice Rink to a group of Yakima investors who plan a mixed-use development, including a hotel, offices, shops and an ice arena.
“It’s time to get some other use out of it,” said Pollock, who said he is getting old and his interest in racing is declining.
The deal is expected to close Jan. 31, said Pollock’s real-estate agent, Dan Kinley.
Kinley said the 46-acre property was put on the market nearly a year ago and attracted interest from as far away as Boston. With about two-tenths of a mile of frontage on Interstate 82, Kinley said it was an ideal commercial tract.
In late July, Kinley put it under contract after a group of Yakima investors made an offer to buy the property. Kinley said the buyers would be paying less than the $10.1 million asking price but would not be more specific.
He referred questions about the investors to Yakima-based Smith Phillips DiPietro and Gasseling, which has been handling publicity for the project, dubbed Sun Square Yakima.
Information from the company indicated the project is expected to include a 120-plus room hotel, a multistory office tower and a mixed-use development with shops, restaurants and condos, as well as a family activity center that will include an NHL-size ice arena.
A Naches racer said the track’s closure, which had been rumored for a while, marks the end of an era and possibly the dreams of aspiring local car racers.
“There are a lot of young drivers that without that experience don’t have the funds to go to the next level,” said Owen Riddle, a past winner of the Apple Cup and Fall Classic races at the speedway. “They can’t afford to go to the tracks in Spokane or Seattle.”
Racing at Yakima, he said, was a way for beginners to build their reputation and attract sponsorships to move to the next level of competition.